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New companion book to President Monson's biography, other books announced at LDS Booksellers

Published: Friday, Aug. 5 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

SANDY — “Teachings of Thomas S. Monson,” a companion to last year’s biography, “To the Rescue,” is scheduled to be on store shelves Sept. 23, Deseret Book officials announced Thursday at the LDS Booksellers Association conference.

“There’s probably not been a prophet that has had more time teaching in the church,” said Laurel Christensen, Deseret Book's vice president of product development. “There are 50 years worth of sermons from President Monson.”

Other new books and products were also announced Thursday.

Christensen also announced the Sept. 27 release of “Life’s Lessons Learned,” a book by Elder Dallin H. Oaks. In the book, Elder Oaks uses personal stories from his childhood to illustrate principles.

“Elder Oaks isn’t necessarily known for being overly personal when he speaks, particularly in general conference, and these are stories that are very, very personal,” Christensen said.

“A Return to Virtue,” by Sister Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women General President, will be in stores Sept. 7. Sister Dalton has made virtue a focus for many of her talks, and the book includes her experience with marathons as an underlying metaphor for living virtuous lives.

”There’s probably never been a time where we’ve needed more of a call for virtue in the world, and Sister Dalton has a unique way of saying things,” Christensen said.

After announcing the theatrical success of the movie “17 Miracles” about the Willie and Martin handcart companies and its DVD release on Sept. 6, the LDSBA members are hopeful for a successful future selling various inspirational materials.

In a presentation at the LDSBA’s annual convention at the South Town Exposition Center, Deseret Book president Sheri Dew discussed the failing book industries, citing Borders’ decision to close as an example.

”We’ve certainly seen changes in our own industry, in LDS publishing, and that’s really interesting in the context of living in a time when there’s never been a greater need for inspiration,” Dew said.

Dew added that through successes like “17 Miracles,” which she called a “transformational movie,” the LDSBA can move forward.

The movie's director, T.C. Christensen, cited a quote by President Gordon B. Hinckley, included at the end of the film, from the president's 1999 dedication of a monument to the pioneers.

“We are going to do what President Hinckley has asked us to do,” he said. “We are going to put out a product that he asked us to tell over and over again, so that those members of our church realize the great sacrifice those people went through and we now benefit by in our society.”

“It’s more than a piece of entertainment,” said Bob Ahlander, director of music and film for Deseret Book. “It’s something that moves people and inspires people.”

Although praised profusely at the convention, the film is not the only notable inspirational material announced at the convention.

Other upcoming titles include “Glad Christmas Tidings,” last year’s Mormon Tabernacle Choir performance featuring David Archuleta on CD, DVD and Blu-ray, Sept. 6; “Lion House Cakes and Cupcakes,” the fourth installment of the popular cookbooks, Oct. 12; and the recent release of Jenny Oaks Baker’s tenth recording, “Wish Upon a Star.” With these and other releases, LDSBA leaders said members can look forward to a brighter future than that of other media associations.

“As we press forward and as we work hard, we can meet the challenges in front of us, regardless of what they are,” Dew said.

“There has never been a time when the heavens are more willing to poor out miracles upon all of us.”

LDSBA encompasses recognizable names in LDS media and entertainment, such as Deseret Book, Seagull Book and Excel Entertainment, but the group is even larger. Retailers and wholesalers across the United States, Canada and into Europe and Asia are also LDSBA members.

Email: hbowler@desnews.com

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